Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4

I decided to make the switch back to the Nikon D810 after using Sony for about 6 months (a7r, a6000, and a7ii). More on the reason for going back to Nikon at another date. The one constant in this transition has been my continued use of Carl Zeiss lenses. Since the trip to Iceland in February I've used 7 Carl Zeiss lenses (3 of those temporarily loaned by Carl Zeiss and 4 purchased by me). Deciding to move back to Nikon I knew the first lens I wanted to buy was something from the new line of Zeiss Milvus and I decided to play it safe and start with the 50mm. 

After 5 client shoots exclusively using this lens and some other fun stuff I feel comfortable giving some initial impressions.


The big factor. It's manual focus...aaaahhhhh...

It really isn't so bad nor should it be a reason to discount this lens from consideration. The focus confirm indicator works well and using Capture One's "Show Focus Mask" tool I am teaching myself how to focus better. What I have learned on my missed focus shots is that I tend to focus closer than I should so over time I'll learn how to slightly adjust while shooting. Most of my shooting has been between f/1.4-2.8 just to force myself to get better...it has been good for me. I'm still learning but I enjoy this challenge. The focus ring is a bit stiffer than the Classic or Otus lenses but it will likely loosen up over time.  

The focus throw is quite large but in order to help with managing this I am trying to get in the habit of checking focus distance prior to framing the shot. 


Bokeh is creamy. The separation from subject to background is crisp. I'm not technically savvy but I imagine the quality of separation has just as much to do with the camera as it does the lens. I did not experience the same thing shooting Zeiss on my Sony cameras although it was still good on the Sony. Not much else to say on this other than show some of that bokeh! 

Couple more closing thoughts:

Carl Zeiss has finally improved the lens cap design! The lens hood also fits much better than the classic lenses I've used in the past. I've encountered loose caps and hoods with the classic lenses but these feel very secure.

One more thing...I guess it is weather sealed! 

Nexus 6

Nexus 6

Overall, I'm very happy with this purchase.  I'm not a gear reviewer so please forgive me if I've missed some things you wanted to know. If that's the case, just ask your question in the comment section below. I'll leave you with a few more pictures taken with the Zeiss Milvus 50mm. Enjoy! 

Give me a follow on Instagram if you'd like- @tom.f.watson

Happy Shooting!